Fashion retailing is said to be the link between manufacturing and consuming. Once fashion is designed, created and manufactured – they must then be sold to the consumer. The act of getting that merchandise from creation to the consumer is where the role of fashion retailing comes into play. Fashion retailing involves the consumer’s side of fashion design. The worldwide fashion apparel industry is one of the largest sectors of the economy, and continues to grow every day. The industry has been in transition over the last 20 years, and that transition has seen fashion retailing become a high profile and high paying profession.
Fashion marketing and visual merchandising are also a large part of getting the product to the consumer. Fashion marketing is the process of managing the flow of merchandise from the initial selection of designs to be produced to the presentation of products to retail customers, with the goal of maximizing a company’s sales and profitability. Successful fashion marketing depends on understanding consumer desire and responding accordingly with the right products. The ultimate goal of the marketer is to identify and define a fashion producer’s target customers and for responding to the preferences of those customers. A fashion merchandiser mostly is in charge of presenting and displaying the merchandise in an appealing way that draws the consumer in and ideally forces them to make a purchase.
An accredited college or university program in fashion retailing teaches students how to use their combined creative and business skills to display market and sell fashion merchandise. Upon completion of a fashion retailing program the graduate should be fully qualified to effectively understand and meet the needs of potential customers and ultimately encourages and increases sales.
Education and training is a necessity to develop a good understanding of the changing needs of the consumer on the business side and the ability to predict new style and trends on the creative side. Education will also assist individuals in fashion retailing on how to evaluate apparel construction, use and create different textiles and identify future trends. Training also provides knowledge of consumer behavior, retail operations, visual merchandising and business skills.
A degree in fashion retailing could lead to many difference jobs and career paths. Graduates of the fashion retailing program can move into positions that including:
• sales manager
• visual merchandiser
• online sales support analyst
• special events coordinator
• allocation and distribution
• administrative support
A good program will also teach students about entrepreneurship and advise them on how they can create their own fashion retailing business or consulting firm. Courses are also available online for professionals already in the field wishing to sharpen their skills with new business techniques and sales strategies. These courses are usually specialty courses that concentrate on a particular task or skill. Above all, the options are plentiful with a degree in fashion retailing. With the proper training, drive and creativity anyone can become a success.